Microsoft's Double Standard

Microsoft is announcing today a new big initiative to enter the broadband business phone market to offer unified voice-data communications in competition with broadband providers. Reporters should ask if this means net neutrality would apply to them as new broadband competitors? Their answer should be an entertaining dance on the head of a pin.   

It is important to remember that Microsoft successfully lobbied the FCC a couple of years ago for de-regulatory decisions to let them enter traditional communications on an un-regulated basis.  

What's Good for the Goose is Good for Google!

You gotta love Senator DeMint’s moxie and sense of humor in standing up to Google’s outrageous double standard on net neutrality! To try and get this young company’s attention that legislation and Washington is not child’s play -- but very serious business with real world consequences -- Senator DeMint drafted an amendment to the Stevens bill that would make it illegal (with jail time) for search engines to discriminate against content in the Internet search business. He has since said that it’s not a serious amendment, but an attempt to get Google’s attention.  

These unregulated young dotcom companies have a child-like naiveté that they are immune to Washington regulation and that they can behave in any way they want (trying to use regulation to block their competitors entry into ecommerce) -- without consequences. This amendment reminds me of how elementary schools often will take their students on field trips to visit the police station to let kids sit in a jail cell for a minute -- in order to get a safe way to “feel” what its like -- so they will never ever want to go there.

The young companies, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon, hopefully got the message. Microsoft, with its DOJ history, obviously has not learned its lesson.

The ecommerce companies’ assertion that broadband markets are not competitive does not square with the facts or the expert findings of the FCC, DOJ and FTC. If the government does not agree with the ecommerce giants competitive and anti-trust premise, they find themselves in the precarious position of arguing why the de facto search duopoly is somehow different than broadband. And if they don’t understand how they are on a very slippery slope in their argument -- they are preparing for a serious regulatory fall in the future.

Not progressive policy, Letter to the US Senate

Today I sent a letter to U.S. Senators that reveals how soft sounding network neutrality language is actually an extremely regressive policy position. While so-called ‘progressives’ are championing its merits, mandating net neutrality will essentially end the Internet era of tremendous innovation, growth and progress.

My letter makes the following points:

  • Net Neutrality is modern-day “Internet Luddism”
  • Net Neutrality is backward-looking, old-fashioned industrial policy
  • Net Neutrality would block, degrade, and impair America’s technology progress
  • Net neutrality would interfere with the Internet’s consensus and universal acceptance
  • Net neutrality would discriminate against network innovation for ecommerce innovation
  • Non-discrimination in a competitive market would promote an indiscriminate Internet

Click here for the full letter.

Had a Great debate with Amazon's Meisner on PBS' Newshour

For those of you interested in what I think is the best and most succinct debate yet on NN, I suggest you listen to the audio of the 10 minute debate between Paul Meisner of Amazon and I  last night on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. They fairly set up the debate and then let Paul and I very freely and openly debate.

One thing that was new, was that I was able to debunk one of Paul's key points, that since it is the customer that would order video over the Internet, it isn't Amazon's fault or cost to pay for any of the delivery. I explained why that was a spurious argument. It would be like saying, Amazon has a huge parking lot holding a large fleet of very heavy trucks and equipment and because it was the customer that called and asked for Amazon to dispatch the trucks and heavy equipment to drive on the road, Amazon had no role or responsibility for the wear and tear that the heavy trucks had on the road -- just because they didn't dispatch the truck!  Puuuuhleeeeez!

That is just one of many NN arguments that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Grandfather of the Internet speaks against Net Neutrality

Dave Farber, the Grandfather of the Internet recently posted a net neutrality white paper that concludes net neutrality threatens to restrict a wide range of innovation services and does not meet consumer needs. The document is the work of computer science, economics and law scholars assembled by the Wharton School to provide unbiased analysis of network neutrality.  

Ironically, Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and outspoken network neutrality advocate was Faber’s student.

NN Presidential Politics?

I really enjoyed this New York sun article on Clinton, Other Hopefuls Reach For Netroots
URL: .  It appears that NN is the politically expedient position for democratic political candidates who want and need to raise beaucoup bucks from the Internet. The old adage is true, if you want honey don't kick the beehive.

NN clearly is not a "New Democrat" position. Sad the Democratic Presidential candidates are going back to Old Democrat ways, but that is typical of the pre-primary cycle.

My NPR Morning Edition Commentary on Net Neutrality

This morning, NPR Morning Edition featured my commentary on Net Neutrality. In the segment, I reveal the special interests behind proposed net neutrality legislation and discuss how network neutrality is really a choice between a government controlled socialized Internet and a market driven system.

Tomorrow, NPR will feature a commentary from Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark.

You can listen to my commentary on NPR at:

Important questions for Senator Clinton on NN

Senator Hilary Clinton is now lobbying her colleagues in the Senate to join in co-sponsoring the Clinton-Snowe-Dorgan Net Neutrality bill:

As the most likely Democratic nominee for President in 2008, it is relevant to ask:

  • Does Senator Clinton have a vision for a “Socialized-Internet” like the socialized-medicine vision she championed while being health-care-reform czar in her Husband’s Administration?

Munis in NN Crosshairs?

Today's WSJ had a very interesting article on how municipalities are seeking to offer free city-wide WiFi broandband servce to their residents paid for by advertising. Hello? It appears as if municipalities around the country have not connected-the-dots of the Snowe-Dorgan NN bill could effectively outlaw that business model in serving consumers becuase it would be discriminatory. Municipalities might consider weighing in on Snowe-Dorgan so the hand of BIG GOVERNMENT does not ban their nascent innovative efforts.

The Snowe-Dorgan bill is so breath-takingly indiscriminate and sweepingly hyper-regulatory that it regulates anything remotely broadband. First, in a fit of hubris, Snowe-Dorgan, even legally defines the word "user" for the first time, which even the hyper-regulatory House Markey Bill did not deem necessary! Why are they defining "users" unless they want to regulate them too?